Monday, October 26, 2009

Unnatural History

Dead Monsters and Bleeding Objects - II

The monsters of Thomas Suire's show are a collection of animal heads at once whimsical, comical and fierce. Each creature is mounted as a trophy with a detailed description of its provenance written in the style of natural history. His droll look at man's devastation of the animal world is only slyer and funnier knowing that many of these animals only exist(ed) in his imagination.

There are thirteen in all (three were on display here in July, and it's great to have them back!) Pictured at right is "Calamar dentu."

Thomas's description:

"Cette espèce de la mer Méditerranée, disparu depuis une soixantaine d'années, a été découverte pendant la seconde guerre mondiale par des résistants français. L'animal, qui avait déchiqueté le gouvernail de leur barque, fut aussitôt appelé "poisson-traître", ou encore "poisson-collabo". Il devint l'objet d'une traque incessante, et disparût dans les années qui suiverint la libération de Paris."

Loosely translated:

Toothed Squid

This species native to the Mediterranean Sea, now extinct for about sixty years, was discovered during the Second World War by some members of the French Resistance. This animal, which tore their boat's rudder to pieces, was immediately dubbed "Traitor Fish," or even "Collaborator Fish."

It was hunted mercilessly and disappeared in the years following the liberation of Paris."

Others in this unlikely menagerie include a spider, a shark-like animal,, a slug, a rat, a walrus-like animal, an anteater-like animal, and a snake/cat-like animal.

(Photo courtesy of Douglas Brodoff.)

Price on request.

On view till October 31, 2009.

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